HB 1191CS


1The Utilities & Telecommunications Committee recommends the
4     Council/Committee Substitute
5     Remove the entire bill and insert:
A bill to be entitled
7An act relating to telecommunications service regulation;
8amending s. 350.042, F.S.; specifying provisions for ex
9parte communications procedures; creating s. 364.017,
10F.S.; providing for ex parte communications relating to
11Public Service Commission proceedings; directing the
12commission to adopt rules to regulate such communications;
13amending s. 364.051, F.S., relating to price regulation;
14allowing certain local exchange telecommunications
15companies to publish terms, conditions, and rates for
16nonbasic services in lieu of maintaining tariffs with the
17Public Service Commission; revising the notice requirement
18for price changes to nonbasic services; removing a
19provision that allows a company to elect that its basic
20services be subject to the same regulatory treatment as
21its nonbasic services; providing for a request from a
22company to the Public Service Commission to make certain
23reductions in its retail service quality requirements;
24revising criteria for granting a petition to change
25regulatory treatment of retail services; providing an
26effective date.
28Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
30     Section 1.  Subsection (1) of section 350.042, Florida
31Statutes, is amended to read:
32     350.042  Ex parte communications.--
33     (1)  A commissioner should accord to every person who is
34legally interested in a proceeding, or the person's lawyer, full
35right to be heard according to law, and, except as otherwise
36authorized by law, or specifically allowed in ss. 120.80(13)(d)
37and 364.017, a commissioner shall neither initiate nor consider
38ex parte communications concerning the merits, threat, or offer
39of reward in any proceeding other than a proceeding under s.
40120.54 or s. 120.565, workshops, or internal affairs meetings.
41No individual shall discuss ex parte with a commissioner the
42merits of any issue that he or she knows will be filed with the
43commission within 90 days. The provisions of this subsection
44shall not apply to commission staff.
45     Section 2.  Section 364.017, Florida Statutes, is created
46to read:
47     364.017  Ex parte communications.--
48     (1)  To ensure the fairness and integrity of its
49decisionmaking, the commission shall prescribe rules to regulate
50ex parte presentations in commission proceedings. The rules
51shall specify exempt proceedings in which ex parte presentations
52may be made freely; permit-but-disclose proceedings in which ex
53parte presentations to commission decisionmaking personnel are
54permissible but subject to certain disclosure requirements; and
55restricted proceedings in which ex parte presentations to and
56from commission decisionmaking personnel are generally
58     (2)  In all proceedings, there shall be designated a period
59of time prior to the date established for making a decision
60during which all presentations or correspondence to commission
61decisionmaking staff are prohibited. Exceptions to this
62requirement shall be any presentation or correspondence
63otherwise allowed by statute; any presentation that relates to
64emergency situations involving public health, safety, and
65welfare; and any presentation involving classified security
67     (3)  A person who makes a written ex parte presentation
68subject to this section shall, no later than the next business
69day after the presentation, submit two copies of the
70presentation to the commission's clerk under separate cover for
71inclusion in the public record. The presentation and cover
72letter shall clearly identify the proceeding to which it
73relates, including the docket number, if any; shall indicate
74that two copies have been submitted to the clerk; and must be
75labeled as an ex parte presentation. A person who makes an oral
76ex parte presentation subject to this section that presents data
77or arguments not already reflected in that person's written
78comments, memoranda, or other filings in that proceeding shall,
79no later than the next business day after the presentation,
80submit to the commission's clerk an original and one copy of a
81memorandum which summarizes the new data or arguments. A copy of
82the memorandum must also be submitted to the commissioners or
83commission employees involved in the oral presentation. Any such
84memoranda must contain a summary of the substance of the ex
85parte presentation and not merely a listing of the subjects
87     (4)  The commission's clerk shall place in the public file
88or record of the proceeding written ex parte presentations and
89memoranda reflecting oral ex parte presentations. The clerk
90shall issue a public notice listing any written ex parte
91presentations or written summaries of oral ex parte
92presentations received by his or her office relating to any
93permit-but-disclose proceeding. Such public notices should
94generally be released at least twice per week.
95     (5)  For purposes of this section, the following
96definitions shall apply:
97     (a)  "Decisionmaking personnel" means any member, officer,
98or employee of the commission who is or may reasonably be
99expected to be involved in formulating a substantive
100recommendation or decision, rule, or order in a proceeding. Any
101person who has been made a party to a proceeding or who
102otherwise has been excluded from the decisionmaking process
103shall not be treated as a decisionmaker with respect to that
104proceeding, and any person designated as part of a separate
105trial staff shall not be considered a decisionmaking person in
106the designated proceeding.
107     (b)  "Ex parte presentation" means any presentation that,
108if written, is not served on the parties of record to the
109proceeding or, if oral, is made without advance notice to the
110parties and without opportunity for the parties to be present.
111     (c)  "Presentation" means a communication directed to the
112merits or outcome of a proceeding, including any attachments to
113a written communication or documents shown in connection with an
114oral presentation directed to the merits or outcome of a
115proceeding. Excluded from this definition are inquiries
116concerning compliance with procedural requirements if the
117procedural matter is not an area of controversy in the
118proceeding, statements made by decisionmakers that are limited
119to providing publicly available information about pending
120proceedings, and inquiries relating solely to the status of a
122     Section 3.  Subsections (5), (6), and (7) of section
123364.051, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
124     364.051  Price regulation.--
125     (5)  NONBASIC SERVICES.--Price regulation of nonbasic
126services shall consist of the following:
127     (a)  Each company subject to this section shall, at its
128option, maintain tariffs with the commission or otherwise
129publicly publish containing the terms, conditions, and rates for
130each of its nonbasic services, and may set or change, on 1 day's
13115 days' notice, the rate for each of its nonbasic services,
132except that a price increase for any nonbasic service category
133shall not exceed 6 percent within a 12-month period until there
134is another provider providing local telecommunications service
135in an exchange area at which time the price for any nonbasic
136service category may be increased in an amount not to exceed 20
137percent within a 12-month period, and the rate shall be
138presumptively valid. However, for purposes of this subsection,
139the prices of:
140     1.  A voice-grade, flat-rate, multi-line business local
141exchange service, including multiple individual lines, centrex
142lines, private branch exchange trunks, and any associated
143hunting services, that provides dial tone and local usage
144necessary to place a call within a local exchange calling area;
146     2.  Telecommunications services provided under contract
147service arrangements to the SUNCOM Network, as defined in
148chapter 282,
150shall be capped at the rates in effect on July 1, 1995, and such
151rates shall not be increased prior to January 1, 2000; provided,
152however, that a petition to increase such rates may be filed
153pursuant to subsection (4) utilizing the standards set forth
154therein. There shall be a flat-rate pricing option for multi-
155line business local exchange service, and mandatory measured
156service for multi-line business local exchange service shall not
157be imposed. Nothing contained in this section shall prevent the
158local exchange telecommunications company from meeting offerings
159by any competitive provider of the same, or functionally
160equivalent, nonbasic services in a specific geographic market or
161to a specific customer by deaveraging the price of any nonbasic
162service, packaging nonbasic services together or with basic
163services, using volume discounts and term discounts, and
164offering individual contracts. However, the local exchange
165telecommunications company shall not engage in any
166anticompetitive act or practice, nor unreasonably discriminate
167among similarly situated customers.
168     (b)  The commission shall have continuing regulatory
169oversight of nonbasic services for purposes of ensuring
170resolution of service complaints, preventing cross-subsidization
171of nonbasic services with revenues from basic services, and
172ensuring that all providers are treated fairly in the
173telecommunications market. The cost standard for determining
174cross-subsidization is whether the total revenue from a nonbasic
175service is less than the total long-run incremental cost of the
176service. Total long-run incremental cost means service-specific
177volume and nonvolume-sensitive costs.
178     (c)  The price charged to a consumer for a nonbasic service
179shall cover the direct costs of providing the service and shall,
180to the extent a cost is not included in the direct cost, include
181as an imputed cost the price charged by the company to
182competitors for any monopoly component used by a competitor in
183the provision of its same or functionally equivalent service.
184     (6)  After a local exchange telecommunications company that
185has more than 1 million access lines in service has reduced its
186intrastate switched network access rates to parity, as defined
187in s. 364.164(5), the local exchange telecommunications
188company's basic local telecommunications service may, at the
189company's election, be subject to the same regulatory treatment
190as its nonbasic services. The company's retail service quality
191requirements that are not already equal to the service quality
192requirements imposed upon the competitive local exchange
193telecommunications companies shall at the company's request to
194the commission thereafter be no greater than those imposed upon
195competitive local exchange telecommunications companies unless
196the commission, within 120 days after the company's request
197election, determines otherwise. In such event, the commission
198may grant some reductions in service quality requirements in
199some or all of the company's local calling areas. The commission
200may not impose retail service quality requirements on
201competitive local exchange telecommunications companies greater
202than those existing on January 1, 2003.
203     (7)  After If a local exchange telecommunications company
204that has more than 1 million access lines in service has reduced
205its intrastate switched network access rates to parity, as
206defined in s. 364.164(5) elects, pursuant to subsection (6), to
207subject its retail basic local telecommunications services to
208the same regulatory treatment as its nonbasic services, the
209local exchange telecommunications company may petition the
210commission for regulatory treatment of its retail services at a
211level no greater than that imposed by the commission upon
212competitive local exchange telecommunications companies. The
213local exchange telecommunications company shall:
214     (a)  Show that granting the petition is in the public
216     (b)  Demonstrate that the competition faced by the company
217is sufficient and sustainable to allow such competition to
218supplant regulation by the commission; and
219     (c)(b)  Reduce its intrastate switched network access rates
220to its local reciprocal interconnection rate upon the grant of
221the petition.
223The commission shall act upon such a petition within 9 months
224after its filing with the commission. In making its
225determination to either grant or deny the petition, the
226commission shall determine the extent to which the level of
227competition faced by the local exchange telecommunications
228company permits and will continue to permit the company to have
229its retail services regulated no differently than the
230competitive local exchange telecommunications companies are then
231being regulated. The commission may not increase the level of
232regulation for competitive local exchange telecommunications
233companies to a level greater than that which exists on the date
234the local exchange telecommunications company files its
236     Section 4.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.